Friday, October 26, 2007

Fragments

I sorted through endless stacks of my grandparents photographs and made piles for each family member.

Though we intend to keep their house and continue to use it as a family gathering place, we removed what we knew we wanted to protect from theft or vandalization while the house stands empty.

In addition to pictures of family members, their photo collection contained hundreds of pictures of places, endless scenes without accompanying stories.

They loved traveling and my grandfather was an avid photographer.

Where and when were my grandparent's scenery pictures taken? What was their significance?

I stared at photo after photo wondering.

I found three striking pictures of a trip to England with only place names written on the backs.

What is the story of this photograph?




Blackpool, England

Why did he feel compelled to capture this lonely, desolate shot?

Were these photographs from the 1960's business trip my grandfather used to talk about?



Piccadilly Circus, London


I remember him telling me that he visited a bar in Liverpool to listen to live music, but left early because his colleague said that the next band was awful.

He missed his chance to see The Beatles that night.




Liverpool, England



Some of my grandparent's photos had nothing more than a year written on the back.


1949
1949

The year tells me that this is a photo of my grandparents with my mother.

Where had they been or where were they going?

More importantly, what were they thinking?

What pieces of their lives have I missed?

Last night I opened my own box of random photos -- the kind that aren't album worthy -- and began recording names, places and years on their backs.

I believe in the power of stories.

Stories change the way I think and shape the way I understand myself and the world.

Stories passed down from family give me context and identity.

I don't think I can record enough though.

How do I know which stories are the important ones to tell?

When I am gone, I imagine my children or grandchildren will sort through my box of photos.

Just as mine is now, I see another face turned up to the sky calling,

"Wait! Come back! I have so many more questions!!"





123 comments:

TX Poppet said...

Such a beautiful post.

Family Adventure said...

I love the picture of your grandparents with your mother.
You are lucky to have these photos to wonder and ask questions about. And that you have so many stories to tell. Treasure them.

Many of us don't have that.

- Heidi

we_be_toys said...

Wonderful post - I know exactly what you mean. I have been given boxes of pictures, and old family bibles from both sides of the family because I am the family historian, and some of the mystery pictures are the most intriguing. Like you, I wonder what the futire generations will want to know, most likely what I forgot to record. Perfect rainy day today for strolling down Memory Lane.

Julie Pippert said...

Oh what a beautiful story. You are fortunate to have such happy memories, but I'm so sorry you must miss them because they are gone. The photos...amazing. Snapshots of moments no other generation really had before. That photo of them with your mother, that is priceless. They have that look, the one that says, "We're sorta getting the hang of this parenting gig but we're still sort of incredulous." Their entire life is ahead of them and even so I feel sort of protective of them. Maybe because I remember that so well. It sounds like they had good lives, so I feel like I want to reassure them about that.

Thanks for sharing.

Julie
Using My Words

Annie said...

It is wonderful that you have those photos, and you have your own stories to tell your kids about your grandparents, using those photos as prompts.

They remind my of pictures my mother has of her parents, and her as children. We also have family movies.

It makes you think about how important it is to record your present life in pictures and movies.

That last line in your post is a heart breaker!

Mrs. Chicken said...

I just did the same thing, sort of. I realized we had very few photos actually printed. I printed them and wrote on their backs, thinking of days to come.

I see you in your grandmother's face.

Karen Forest said...

My history...

It drives me.
It compells me.
It pushes me.
It shapes me.

I have also been going through old family photos, but for a much different reason. The times that have been recorded are so different than the times we live in.

I think you have inspired my next post....(whenever that will be).

Amy said...

My father wrote letters to my mother from Vietnam. He spoke of his experiences there, what he was doing and seeing. When they moved about 15 years ago she found them in the attic and DESTROYED them. I never saw them. To make it worse she told me about this, so now I know what I'll NOT come across when cleaning out their house someday. I still can't believe it.

He missed the BEATLES!!! I visibly cringed, I got goosepimples all over when I read that. Oh I just can't stand it...(One of Shark Boy's favorite songs is I Saw Her Standing There.)

Lisa Milton said...

Beautiful post. The family snapshot is priceless - I love the black and whites from that era. They look happy; I hope they were.

I've got a massive box from a chunk of time I need to deal with. I think I'll get on it.

mimikatemom said...

"Wait...come back"... You will see them again.

wow. I see Roo in your mom's baby face.

Circus Kelli said...

I once came across a bunch of "family photos" in an antique store. You could tell they were the same people -- their engagement, wedding, and presumed anniversary pictures showed that. The only thing written on the backs were "Wheeler, Peoria, IL". It left me with many many questions and no one to ask.

I make a point to write the names, dates and ages on the backs of all of our pictures. There's just not enough room to write the stories of the pictures on the backs, too... and what of all the digital photos I have?? What will become of those?

Lotta said...

Ask them in your dreams, I may be kooky but I think that our loved ones can talk to us while we dream.

Dory said...

For about 10 years, I had this box of black and white photos that was my paternal grandmother's. I wanted to ask her 'story' questions, but I procrastinated and she slipped into Alzheimer's. She died 12/2004. I missed, literally, the opportunity of a lifetime.
I guess I'll have to wonder.
Or... (this JUST occurred to me, seriously) I can take them with me when I go visit my dad in St Louis in a couple weeks. I bet she told him stories.

Shannon said...

I busted out crying when I read the last line.

I feel the same way about pictures. I'm always wondering about the what's, why's, where's, thoughts of people in the pictures.

My grandmother put together albums of childhood pictures for my mom and each of her siblings.

I was lucky enough to have my grandfather talk about each of my mom's pictures with me.

The one I remember most was a picture of my mom when she was about 2 years old. It was a full body shot and she was looking away from the camera, crying. I asked him why she was crying and he said she thought she was lost. I said, "weren't you right there where she could see you while you were taking the picture"? He said, "yeah, but she was so desperate she wasn't really looking."

And then we laughed about it.

If he hadn't told me that story, I would've made up so many of my own and they would never have been what the story really was.

PunditMom said...

Great photos. When both of my mother's parents passed away, my mother and my aunts all fought over the photos my grandparents left behind. They are all now scattered among the four branches of the family who have ceased taking to one another. I don't know why they didn't think about us grandchildren before they divvied up all the pictures. I wish I had a chance to sort through them like you.

Suz said...

I only have one photo of my grandfather, who passed away when he was only 33, with my mother as a baby. I wish I had more! These photos are priceless and wonderful, even with the stories left to our own imagining.

JoeinVegas said...

Yes, all the photos from my mom, and my wife's older relatives, no words on the back telling us who is in the picture, wondering if it's this great aunt or great grandparent, and no way to find out anymore. So my kids will probably find CDs with no notes on the back either.

Kellan said...

I love all those photos! I love the buses all lined up. I have a box of old love letters (hundreds of them) that my grandfather gave to my grandmother. I am slowly going through them and translating them and typing each one. I love these old things that are left to us by our family. I loved this post. See ya.

painted maypole said...

this is part of why I scrapbook... and am working at telling the stories. I used to just put in the pictures, with maybe a brief title and vague date, but now I try to use the pictures to prompt stories... so that The May Queen and her children and perhaps those after will know more about who we were. Although sometimes I think I put in just a few too many! ;)

newnorth said...

those are really cool photos. Nice post, every time I look through my parents photo I leave more confused.

kristen said...

All the stories are important. One of the easiest ways to "record" your family's history is to simply tell the stories often. Tell them to anyone who will listen.

How wonderful that you have so many memories. And how lucky for your children that you are committed to keeping those memories alive.

Deb said...

I love those old pictures, thasnks for sharing them.

Lori- Fairytales & Margaritas said...

Five years ago I did this very same thing. i got so many pics from my granmother's house that I had no idea who or what they were of. I have put them in a scrapbook of "unknowns". and I have been furiously trying to record our current history so that my granchildren WILL know.

Jenifer said...

One of my life wishes is to visit England. I want to visit the boarding school my Dad attended, see the pub and hotel my Grandmother managed, all the places I have heard of in stories and try to fill in the gaps.

I too have many, many questions.

Not the Queen said...

It's so true that we always think we'll have at least one more tomorrow to pass on our history to our children. Your children will be so grateful one day to know you took the time to record information on your pictures.

baby advice said...

absolutely beautiful

Heidi Hyde said...

Lovely. Just lovely.

I got goosebumps reading your captions and the pictures are beautiful. It makes the imagination run wild to think about the people in them, the lives they led, their dreams and hopes, and wants and troubles.

Your writing is a beautiful legacy to your grandparents' lives.

-HH

Marketing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. Chicky said...

When my grandmother died we did the same thing - sorted through photos. Most of them had no information included and it was so frustrating. Good for you for thinking of future generations.

thillygeese said...

"Wait! Come back! I have so many more questions!!"

I silently scream this every day since we lost my mother...

Thank you for a beautiful post.

Serina Hope said...

This is lovely. You moved me to tears. I need to start asking questions while I can, I think.

Redneck Mommy said...

Tis the reason why I write little captions on the backs of all photos. Hopefully, they will be little clues to my future loved ones.

And I can't tell you how important it is to take copious amounts of pics of the kids.

It's all I have left of my Bug. Almost five years of life boiled down to 403 photos. (Yah, I've counted.)

Katrina said...

I agree about scrapbooking...its not because I am a big dork (which I am) but because I want to pass the family history and stories down. My handwriting stinks, but it is on each and every page, so that when I'm gone, that very personal piece of me will remain.

I hope to interview my grandmas soon, on video, and then write their stories down in books. It matters so much to have these pieces of our own personal history.

carrie said...

Thank you for sharing all those loveley pictures. They certainly were a handsome couple! And yikes! Missed The Beatles? I don't think I'd recover from that.

And this is why I scrapbook. This reason right here. As monumental and tedious the task seems at times, I know I'm creating a history for my kids and their kids and so on . . . that will outlive me.

I had a lot of questions too that can never be answered.

Debo Hobo said...

We have the same similar boxes and bags of photos from my GreatGrands. We also have a large manila envelope of post cards sent and received with only a name and town on them and a stamp. The amazing thing is that back then, that was all that was needed for correspondenses to make it to where they were going. Simply amazing. Just as they will one day say all we had to do is click send, how archaic.

Whelp, keep documenting and leaving your story. Your kid's kid's will look forward to their kid's sorting through it later.

FishyGirl said...

Those unanswered questions haunt me, have every single day since my mother died 22 years ago, but really much much more since my kids were born. Beautiful, Jess.

Caro said...

What lovely pictures. I wonder how we should label the thousands of digital pictures we have.

CamiKaos said...

My husband's family immigrated, rather, snuck out of East Germany in a harrowing tale of adventure. I've only heard bits and pieces of it... I've told my father in law time and time again we need to make a record of the things that his family endured in his youth, where he went when they moved here, and all the little journeys in between and from then to now so that someday when he can't answer we will know what all those pictures are and know all the stories that have no photographs to illustrate them.

This post made me so sad... but also a little happy. They may not have given you answers... but they have left little bits of their souls for you to cherish... even if you can not comprehend them.

hugs.

Jennifer said...

All of them. All of the stories are important to tell. They can't all be told, of course, but they are all important. I hang on my grandmother, bothering her with, "How close was the grocery store and how often did you go?" questions. She just rolls her eyes at me. ;) But the stories are all important.

These photos are amazing! And your "Wait, come back" made me cry.

Kevin Charnas said...

Thanks for sharing this, Jessica...

The cycle...it's beautiful...and heartbreaking all at once.

Taste Like Crazy said...

My grandma was a rock-star at picture labeling. Names, dates and locations were always meticulously listed.

However, when she died and we sorted the many boxes of photographs, I was struck by pictures of people who I had never seen...all without any information.

Maybe they weren't important to her, but I wanted to know who they were.

I say that you can never guess what someone else will find interesting or "note worthy".

Label them all so that your "story" can be told in full.

Craze said...

So very true. I love looking through my mother's old photographs. Her's are much the same and only marked with a date.

Victoria said...

"Wait, come back" made me tear up - so true, so true! I'm a story-teller...we have stacks and stacks of printed pictures with notes written on the backs. I have (very unpretty) scrapbooks with "here's why these were important to me" snippets in the margins.

Those pics are beautiful - especially the one of your grandparents. So sweet.

Virtualsprite said...

As an amature genealogist, I say thank you for taking the time to write identifying notes on your photographs.

I spend hours each week sifting through papers and photographs, trying to make sense of the information and match the evidence to family stories. I hope to leave my kids with more information than I had, but I know that there is never enough.

The photos are beautiful and they tell a story in their own right, but I understand what you mean.

furiousBall said...

Great photos. My folks have some great photo albums that I love sorting through every few years at Christmas. Maybe it's time to do that again and ask these same questions.

mamatulip said...

I felt very similarly when my mother died.

Thinking of you.

Rock the Cradle said...

A beautiful glimpse at your family.

I wonder at all the untold stories as well, and regret all those questions I didn't know enough to ask at the time.

Now those mysterious people and places look out at me and I can only guess what their stories are.

I'm glad you're writing it all down. I am doing the same.

Anonymous said...

I felt so conflicted looking through my grandparents and great aunts and uncles photos...I felt as though I were evesdropping yet I wanted to see all of them...your post was really beauitiful...I adore reading you each day.


mauniejames

BOSSY said...

Bossy couldn't agree more. Since Bossy began her Family Tree narrative project over on her own blog she's been hauling out all the old photos and paperwork.

Even though her family was littered with Storytellers - and not the droning repetitive storytellers but those who could explain the old days like Frank Sinatra sings- Bossy forgets many details and needs a few gaping holes filled in.

Hey - PS - can Bossy live in Technicolor? Please? Bossy is in lurve with the tone of your prints.

Rimarama said...

Beautiful post. It helped put things in perspective for me in light of some tension I've been dealing with in my own family. Thank you.

MnRooMom said...

Thank you for writing this post. It made me weep. I am in the process of losing my grandfather. His mind is here and gone minute to minute. My grandmother is hanging by a thread herself. I want more time with them, for my girls to have with them. Pictures and stories will remain and I'm compelled to start filling in the blanks now while I still can.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Those pictures are fabulous.
So many of mine are still on my PC rather in books for us to share and enjoy.
I must print them and write down the memories.
Blogging is also a fab way to keep memories arrive.
The Major and the Rooster will love reading about themselves in years to come, as will Miss E and Miss M.
And I'm sure the important ones are all caught here. They're the ones that move us, or make us laugh, so much so that we choose to share them with the world out there.
I love that.

allrileyedup said...

wow, great post. i still look at the photos my great aunt gave me of my grandfather and his family. i know exactly who all of them are because i had the opportunity to ask her to tell me about them, but i look at my own stacks of nameless unidentfied photographs and think to myself, i have my work cut out for me.

Bon said...

i love these photos, Jess, and the story of questions and possibities you've woven from them.

but the face turned up to the sky...oh yes.

that will be there no matter how much you write down. it is part of being human, i think.

Heather, Queen of Shake-Shake said...

Oh Jess, that's so beautiful.

I remember doing the same thing when my grandmother died. There was so little about her life before marrying that we didn't know. We found pictures of old boyfriends and never knew...

Lawyer Mama said...

Those are some amazing photos.

Every time I go home or visit my grandparents I make them go through photos with me. But still, I know I'll never hear all of the stories.

radical mama said...

You have such an amazing family, Jess. Your children will be lucky to sort through all that history someday.

kittenpie said...

Oh, this is lovely. Tender. Wistful. It suits those photos of long-ago places perfectly, J. I love the old buses in olives greens and mustard yellows. I would frame some of those.

motherbumper said...

Wow, this is beautiful. When we went through my nana's house we found drawers and drawers lined with unmarked photos. How I wish they could talk.

Damselfly said...

I love old photos! Thank you for sharing your families'. And thank you for the lesson in recording the stories around them.

Cathy said...

I know exactly what you're describing.

We encountered mystery after mystery going though my maternal grandmother's belongings when she died. Pictures with no names, letters with no context ...

... plenty of opportunity for imagination to take hold.

Colleen said...

A beautiful post. Those last 2 lines have left me in tears.

That's one reason I have the camera put the date on the pictures I take. Other people hate it... but I just imagine that later, when I'm 80, I'll be able to know when it was taken. I have to get better about putting names on picture backs.

Golightly said...

I've been popping in and out of your blog. But this post obviously (affected many)affected me. Thank for sharing and putting into words my own experiences. I have tons of photos without information on them and no immediate family members left to fill in the blanks. It's hard and it's not what I want to leave behind for my children.

The first comment summed it up... What a beautiful post.

Deb said...

Perfectly put.

Omaha Mama said...

Wow those are great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

I think it's great that you are trying to preserve your story. Think of the story you are telling right here. It's amazing.

tulipmom said...

I love old photos. Yours are beautiful.

You have inspired me to get off my ass and organize and ID my boxes and boxes of photos.

Tabba said...

i know. i know.
this is so, so hard.

what a lovely, lovely post.

Erin said...

What a lovely post. Makes me want to go through all my pictures right now and leave behind the story for my children, grandchildren and forever. This is the reason I scrapbook! You've just fueled the dwindling flame of my creativity in my hobby, thank you : ) And I hope one day you find out more about all the pictures.

Paige said...

I am in love with all of these pictures and stories. So beautiful and will help you keep your memories and history alive.

P

Tot's Mom said...

Thanks for dropping by my profiles page at cre8buzz.

My parents have a collection of those black and white photos too and I always wonder what's the story behind those photos as well. I can see that life is so different then but I guess my grandkids would probably think the same thing when going through my photos in the future.

Avery Gray said...

I love old photos! I actually go to antique stores looking for old photos. I have one of a family of four from the late 1800's that I've framed and put on a frame stand. People ask me all the time if they are relatives of mine, and I tell them no, but I've always been tempted to make up a story about them. It just begs for one.

flutter said...

When you close your eyes and you let that ache ease, just a little, they'll be back.

Mimi aka pz5wjj said...

This brings me back to when my Gramma died and going through her things -- over 10 years now.

The diaries, the photos... I think to myself, "where are our diaries and records?"

When my Gramma realized her memory was fading, she began writing things down -- when my Grampa died (in 1946) his last words ("Take care of the Boys" -- that would be my dad, just 6 & his 2 brothers), her first meeting my Grampa, her life at college, his angst at being a Dentist and not allowed to go to medical school -- all sorts of thoughts and feeling that help us to know our ancestors....

I still love going through the boxes and photos...

Lotus Siva Carroll said...

Wonderful photos.

Beautiful thoughts.

Veronica said...

Is it awful to think of all the knowledge we lose when someone passes.

Thankyou for sharing this.

cate said...

oh, this post touched me...when my grandfather passed away suddenly, we realized that he had been hiding the fact that my grandmother has Alzheimer's. by the time we found it, it was so far advanced that we had to put her in a nursing home.

we all got together to pack up their house. the important things we auctioned off at a family auction. that way it all stayed in the family, it was a fun way for everyone to see all of their possessions again, and the money made went to the monthly payments for the nursing home.

what we found were so many things that we were sure had fabulous stories behind them. especially the photos. my grandfather has thousands and thousands of slides...most of these photos we'd never seen before. a lot of them from when they still lived in Denmark when my dad(who was the oldest) was young...to young to remember, or before he was born. some we believe to be taken during the Nazi Occupation of Denmark in the 1940's...but we can't be sure. because of my grandmother's mental state, we would never find out.

it's so sad to lose a part of a loved ones life forever. i feel for you, and i'm so sorry for your loss. you family is in my thoughts.

FENICLE said...

I often wonder if in our new age of technology I'm not recording enough history by printing out pictures. So many are stored on a computer or cd.

I love to scrapbook when I have time. I feel like it will leave some stories and memories for those who want to know after I am gone.

shelookslikeme.wordpress said...

Beautiful.
I once heard from a writer who picked up a bunch of old photos at an estate sale. Two daughters of the woman who died were selling them, selling the memories. For whatever reason.
The writer took them home, added her own stories and turned them into a book.
I have a photo of a class of new Marine recruits that I could have sworn included my grandad. It had been his photo. But he died before he could tell me about the picture. Sometime later someone told me that my grandad couldn't have been in the photo. Doesn't matter. It has its own story.
Photos offer a portal to times we wish we'd experienced. I like to pass through them, stand just out of frame and make the people laugh, or walk around with them, feel the day, hear their voices.
I'd like to hear more about these stories you found.

Matthew said...

This is why I blog.

I love telling stories that I know my kids will read someday. I imagine their adult faces smiling at these stories and I feel good at leaving these memories for them.

I also hope they get a chance to know their Dad in a way that they can't right now.

Great post and I love that photo of the bus station.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

OH
MY
GOD

You, me and Chicken were all sipping the same Kool Aid today.

Awesome post and awesome pics.

liv said...

lovely memories. i'm off to see my grandma today, and i hope to coax some stories out of her. xoxo

Dorothy said...

My first stop, referred by finicle. I love the photos and the post..why are there more questions then answers?

Dorothy from grammology
call your grandma

creative-type dad said...

Great pictures and story.

I don't have any old pictures. I feel like aliens dropped me off last week.

WILLIAM said...

Those pictures are awesome

KC said...

I love NPR's storycorps... the power of stories are amazing, I agree. xo

cinnamon gurl said...

Ooh, those photos are such treasures! They're fantastic!

But the stories that are missing... now I'm going to have to start writing on the backs of prints. Great post!

~JJ! said...

A spark of history right there in front of you!

You will cherish those forever...Thank you for sharing them.

They are priceless...

As is this post.

pgoodness said...

This is why I scrapbook - otherwise my pictures would never even leave my computer.

This was a beautiful post - and brought me to tears by the end.

Kyla said...

This was so beautiful, OTJ.

I can't believe he missed seeing the Beatles!

Domestic Goddess said...

I am a scrapbooker and feel your dismay at the photos with no explanation. Sorry about your loss.

The Egel Nest said...

Oh my...what a beautiful post...I have gone through my grandparents old pictures and wondered similar things...I am almost glad that they did not have explanations..helps with the "wonder" factor...

Neat side story about the Beatles :)


Bradley
The Egel Nest

Jenty said...

Fabulous post. I wonder if they remembered most of them, because I struggle to remember the context if it's not written down.
They're wonderful photos, even without knowing the whole story.

Aliki2006 said...

Beautiful, J. I can't believe that one of Piccadilly Circus--it's changed so tremendously.

I am addicted to stories, too--they are our lifeblood and offer such important connections to those we love.

Amanda said...

How poignant this is, remembering now, and hearing in perfect pitch and tone, my grandmother's voice, "Use journals. Write, if only snippets of thoughts, words and colors. Write and you'll add color to the faded memories you'll have." She left behind notebook after notebook, often inscrutable, but every so often, as she described a cloud that passed the window shaped as a dove, I can smell her 4711 cologne on her skin and feel her cheek on my face and her hand on mine as she'd pull me in for a kiss.

This wondering is a gift, and I think by asking and searching, you aren't so much missing as discovering.

Jenn said...

The questions.

Always the questions we forgot to ask, so loud in the dead of night.

Seattle Mamacita said...

i wish i'd asked my own grandparents more questions...beautiful photos

Katie R. said...

That is an excellent idea. How special for you to do that now, for your family members in the future. I'm still so sorry for your loss.

blooming desertpea said...

Wow, Piccadilly Circus does look a lot busier nowadays - lol - I love old photographs and the wonder of the hidden stories ...

crazymumma said...

Being the holder of the family photos is painful for me. All those photos of my parents and no questions answered.

I make up my own history.

But this is not about me. It is about you. May you find peace with the images.

zellmer said...

I didn't read the comments so maybe somebody already said this...
you look just like your grandmother.
At least in that photo.

She was so beautiful.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I want to put my head down and weep, b/c your post really resonates with me. When my dad was dying, I wanted to ask him so many questions, but I was afraid to scare him---to admit, in fact, that he was leaving us soon and I needed to get information from him before he died. He still died and I didn't get my questions answered. Why is it so hard to ask?

JCK said...

How special that your obvious love of photography is shared with your grandfather's talent.

You may not have the details listed on the backs of all of your photographs, but your blog of stories will be a tremendous gift to your children.

Thanks for sharing this. The pictures are wonderful. I especially love the one of your grandparents and mom. The women always look so glamorous in the black and white shots with their red lipstick - always on!

Queen Karana said...

It's true - the stories are the most important part.

This is so off topic, but I had a dream about your entire family last night. Completely random... maybe I should blog about it. :)

EE said...

Fantastic post!
I think you need to write "See blog" on the back of every photo;)

Alpha DogMa said...

I have spent many many hours scanning in photos (much like those you posted) since the passing of the OmegaMan's grandmother. I wish I'd done it sooner, when she was around to fill in the blanks of cryptic captions.

Moobs said...

Scarily, I have been scaning in my own old photos and they are full of people I can't name and places I don't recognise.

Do you think that this is where you got your own love of travel?

crankybee said...

Holy Crap, Amy, my mother did the same thing - for 32 years, he kept the letter she wrote proposing to him, and when they moved house and she found it packing his undies, she THREW IT OUT! He didn't speak to her for a month. Her defence was "it was embarrassing - I don't want people reading it"

I have to disagree with the Blackpool photo being lonely or desolate - it's just Blackpool! There's not a lot there, and people flock there in droves. I think he took the pic to have show all the tour buses lined up...I actually love it.

Anonymous said...

Who of us knows the longevity of our blogs? Is this the new shoe box of memories that our children and grand-children will sort through or throw out?

All of my parent's photos were burned up in a fire. Those that did survive have come to me from relatives. Thank God for scanners. Now I'm finally able to share at least some of the family history.

canarygirl said...

Jessica, I have tears streaming down my face. What a beautifully written post...and so very true.

baby~amore' said...

yes I agree with others what wonderful memories and it is awesome you think they are worthy to keep them alive...those photos are precious.
I think I have my own stories to tell. Digital photos should come with text boxes.

Jenny said...

There will never be enough. We'll always have questions...

Nancy said...

beautiful post.

My dad's cousin has been sending me pictures and artwork from my grandparents and their parents during the last several months. She's filled in some of the details of the pictures, but there are so many things I still wonder about. But at least I have those photos...

canape said...

Oh wow. That is such a cool story about missing the band in Liverpool.

I'm glad you have the photos.

Emily said...

Amazing photos.

Such an ordinary scene-buses in a line, a street corner in Picadilly, a young family on an average day-with extraordinary stories to tell. I hope you are able to fill in the blanks.

WorksForMom said...

I certainly don't have anything new to offer that wasn't already said. But this post was beautiful and those pictures were nothing short of amazing. AMAZING.

Mimi said...

They'll be reading your blog, Jess. What a wonderful story to leave ...

Momish said...

Those photos are amazing, they bring you right back in time. I just love all the old stories and histories. I totally agree with you, it is important to pass down the stories. Thanks for reminding me, I have so many to start telling Piper!

Cakabaker said...

I have alot of old black and white photos from my husband's maternal grandparents that I want to do a heritage scrapbook album of. Do you scrapbook? It is a lovely way to document life's lessons and stories.

Mandaroo said...

I had the same thought as Mimi, above. Our blogs are our stories. Do you know there are services to print up your blog? I'm going to do that 1x or 2x a year to preserve it for my chldren (& their children) to read someday. Those pictures are wonderful! What a treasure to have.....

megachick said...

we have suitcases full of pictures from my nana's house when she was moved to a nursing care facility. there are some years recorded, but mostly the pictures are mysteries. it's too bad we didn't go through this collection before she lost her memories.

this is why i scrapbook-put the story right there.

The Van Goat Ranch said...

What incredible pictures! Your post was very moving. I have pictures like that too, and stranglely, one of my favorites is one of my paternal grandmother, whom I never met, when she was in New York at Cornell attending a class. It was a group picture in black and white and like so many pictures taken in that time, it seems to tell it's own story. Why are pictures so different now?
Well anyway, I so enjoyed your pictures and your post, so keep it coming!

Rusti said...

this was such a lovely post Jess... it makes me think about the photos my dad has from his parents that we still aren't sure who the people are, what they are doing, where they were... I'm hoping that my children will be able to learn about me through my scrapbooks, and am thankful that my mom, sister, cousins & aunts all scrap as well... there will be lots of stories for them to learn and pass on, because we'll be telling them through our efforts of love...

chickadee said...

that is so true. what wonderful treasures to have.